The family of the campus visitor a Columbus State University police officer fatally shot a year ago wants a Georgia Bureau of Investigation report on the incident.
Zikarious “Snoop” Flint’s parents and three siblings with their attorney Katonga Wright held a news conference on the anniversary of his death Monday to urge District Attorney Julia Slater to act quickly on her review of the case.
Though the Flints through Wright have put the state of Georgia on notice that they intend to file a civil claim, they face a two-year statute of limitations, so time is running out.
“Each day the clock is ticking,” said Wright, who needs the GBI file to determine whether a lawsuit is feasible in light of the facts.
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Wright said the suit likely would be a wrongful death claim based on CSU police allegedly violating Flint’s civil rights. She needs the file soon so she thoroughly can review it and prepare the family’s civil claim, she said.
CSU has cooperated in responding to open-records requests and providing what information it can, but the GBI report has material CSU does not, she said.Slater in a statement Monday said her office continues to review the GBI’s findings.
“Unfortunately, because of the status of the case and the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys, there is little I can say about the incident. The DA’s Office is critically reviewing the file and no decision will be made until all leads have been followed and exhausted.”
Wright said Flint’s girlfriend was in a nearby car and witnessed the shooting. The girlfriend told the family Flint was unarmed and running away when he was shot twice, said Wright, adding he was hit in the back and the back of the neck.
She said the girlfriend saw Flint stagger after the first shot and fall after the second, and he did not move afterward. He died later at The Midtown Medical Center.
CSU reported after the shooting that Flint had a pistol he raised toward officers chasing him, and a Glock Model 22 .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun holding eight rounds was found where he fell.
According to the university, police at 2:35 p.m. that Sunday were summoned to a gazebo off University Avenue near the Courtyard 1 student housing complex. An officer arriving three minutes later reported the suspect ran, initiating an extended chase that went south into the student apartment buildings, crossed the avenue east, circled buildings across the street and then came back west into an intramural field north of the apartments.
The pursuing officer tried and failed to Tase the suspect as he dashed through an Ultimate Frisbee game on the intramural field, CSU said. Flint then ran back south into Courtyard 1, where he was shot near apartment Building A, which is just south of the gazebo where police first encountered him.
The university identified the officer who shot Flint as Sgt. Ben Scott, then 43, who remained on administrative leave until the initial investigation found no wrongdoing. He returned to work after the GBI submitted its findings to Slater last August, Wright said.
Scott, who joined the 25-officer CSU police force Aug. 6, 2012, after serving 17 years as a Columbus police officer, has been advised not to comment on the shooting until all legal issues have been resolved, CSU said.
Among those attending Monday’s news conference were Zikarious Flint’s parents Homer and Shamanique Flint, and his younger siblings Amber, 19; Amaru, 15; and Kailah, 12.